Intro

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and Penn State University (PSU) are partnering to explore and advance PennSTART, a state-of-the-art training and testing facility to address the transportation safety and operational needs of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Region. An analysis is underway to choose a facility location, with the decision expected to be made in the next stage of the engineering- planning and design process over the next year. The facility is anticipated to be operational from Year 2020 and will benefit emergency responders, transportation organizations, and research institutions. PennSTART will address safety training and research needs in six key areas: traffic incident management (TIM); tolling and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technology; work zones; commercial vehicles; transit vehicles; and connected and automated vehicles.

Examples of technologies for which safety and operational testing, as well as training, could be conducted at the new facility could include:

  • TIM training;
  • Testing and hands-on training for new ITS, tolling, and signal equipment;
  • Safe, simulated training for higher-speed and mobile work-zone operations;
  • Safety certification training opportunities;
  • Simulated environments for temporary traffic control device testing and evaluation;
  • Smart truck-parking applications and other opportunities for commercial vehicle technology partnerships; and
  • Controlled environments to test various connected and automated vehicle technologies for infrastructure equipment, fleets, and other applications.
PennSMART Test Track 3D Visualization
Images

Vision

A vision of the Parties is to explore and advance a state-of-the-art training and testing facility to address the transportation safety and operational needs of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic Region in six key areas:

  • Traffic Incident Management
  • Connected & Automated Vehicles
  • Tolling, ITS and Traffic Signals
  • Work Zones
  • Commercial Vehicles
  • Transit Vehicles

Mission

A mission of the Parties is to advance the Pennsylvania Safety Transportation and Research Track (PennSTART) project through the required systems engineering process and identify the appropriate members (public and private) necessary to leverage the financial and technical resources required to construct, operate and maintain the center.

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